meta-scriptElvis Costello & Blondie Announce U.S. Summer Tour |

Elvis Costello

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Elvis Costello & Blondie Announce U.S. Summer Tour

The pair of edgy legends will play 13 shows together on their cross-country co-headlining trek

GRAMMYs/Apr 3, 2019 - 01:52 am

GRAMMY-nominated pop/rock rebels Elvis Costello & The Imposters and Blondie are teaming up for a U.S. tour this summer... or as a clever press statement put it: "It's Blondie and the Beastly E.C.!!!"

The 13-date run will begin in Bethel, N.Y. on July 20 and hit mostly east and west coast cities, plus Las Vegas, before wrapping up in Seattle on Aug 10. 

It's been over 40 years since Blondie's "Heart Of Glass" found itself side-by-side with Costello's "Oliver's Army" on the UK Singles Chart. But both artists' most-recent albums prove they've not lost their fire; Costello's eclectic 2018 release, Look Now, and Blondie's blistering 2017 release, Pollinator.

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Pre-sale tickets are available today, with tickets going on-sale to the public on Saturday, Apr. 6.

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National Recording Registry Announces Inductees

Photo: Library of Congress


National Recording Registry Inducts Music From The Notorious B.I.G., Green Day, Blondie, The Chicks, & More

Recordings by the Cars, Bill Withers, Lily Tomlin, Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick, and the all-Black 369th U.S. Infantry Band after World War I are also among the 25 selected for induction.

GRAMMYs/Apr 17, 2024 - 12:54 am

As a founding member of the National Recording Preservation Board, the Recording Academy was instrumental in lobbying and getting the board created by Congress. Now, the Library of Congress has added new treasures to the National Recording Registry, preserving masterpieces that have shaped American culture.

The 2024 class not only celebrates modern icons like Green Day’s punk classic Dookie and Biggie Smalls' seminal Ready to Die, but also honors vintage gems like Gene Autry’s "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and Perry Como’s hits from 1957. These recordings join over 650 titles that constitute the registry — a curated collection housed within the Library’s vast archive of nearly 4 million sound recordings. 

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden announced these additions as essential pieces of our nation’s audio legacy, each selected for their cultural, historical, or aesthetic importance. This selection process is influenced by public nominations, which hit a record number this year, emphasizing the public's role in preserving audio history.

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"The Library of Congress is proud to preserve the sounds of American history and our diverse culture through the National Recording Registry," Hayden said. "We have selected audio treasures worthy of preservation with our partners this year, including a wide range of music from the past 100 years, as well as comedy. We were thrilled to receive a record number of public nominations, and we welcome the public’s input on what we should preserve next."

The latest selections named to the registry span from 1919 to 1998 and range from the recordings of the all-Black 369th U.S. Infantry Band led by James Reese Europe after World War I, to defining sounds of jazz and bluegrass, and iconic recordings from pop, dance, country, rock, rap, Latin and classical music.

"For the past 21 years the National Recording Preservation Board has provided musical expertise, historical perspective and deep knowledge of recorded sound to assist the Librarian in choosing landmark recordings to be inducted into the Library’s National Recording Registry," said Robbin Ahrold, Chair of the National Recording Preservation Board. "The board again this year is pleased to join the Librarian in highlighting influential works in our diverse sound heritage, as well as helping to spread the word on the National Recording Registry through their own social media and streaming media Campaigns."

Tune in to NPR's "1A" for "The Sounds of America" series, featuring interviews with Hayden and selected artists, to hear stories behind this year’s picks. Stay connected to the conversation about the registry via social media and listen to many of the recordings on your favorite streaming service.

For more details on the National Recording Registry and to explore more about the selections, visit The Library of Congress's official National Recording Registry page.

National Recording Registry, 2024 Selections (chronological order)

  1. "Clarinet Marmalade" – Lt. James Reese Europe’s 369th U.S. Infantry Band (1919)

  2. "Kauhavan Polkka" – Viola Turpeinen and John Rosendahl (1928)

  3. Wisconsin Folksong Collection (1937-1946)

  4. "Rose Room" – Benny Goodman Sextet with Charlie Christian (1939)

  5. "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer" – Gene Autry (1949)

  6. "Tennessee Waltz" – Patti Page (1950)

  7. "Rocket ‘88’" – Jackie Brenston and His Delta Cats (1951)

  8. "Catch a Falling Star" / "Magic Moments" – Perry Como (1957)

  9. "Chances Are" – Johnny Mathis (1957)

  10. "The Sidewinder" – Lee Morgan (1964)

  11. "Surrealistic Pillow" – Jefferson Airplane (1967)

  12. "Ain’t No Sunshine" – Bill Withers (1971)

  13. "This is a Recording" – Lily Tomlin (1971)

  14. "J.D. Crowe & the New South" – J.D. Crowe & the New South (1975)

  15. "Arrival" – ABBA (1976)

  16. "El Cantante" – Héctor Lavoe (1978)

  17. "The Cars" – The Cars (1978)

  18. "Parallel Lines" – Blondie (1978)

  19. "La-Di-Da-Di" – Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick (MC Ricky D) (1985)

  20. "Don’t Worry, Be Happy" – Bobby McFerrin (1988)

  21. "Amor Eterno" – Juan Gabriel (1990)

  22. "Pieces of Africa" – Kronos Quartet (1992)

  23. Dookie – Green Day (1994)

  24. Ready to Die – The Notorious B.I.G. (1994)

  25. "Wide Open Spaces" – The Chicks (1998)

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(L to R:) Leigh Foxx, Clem Burke, Paul Carbonara (front), Jimmy Destri, Debbie Harry and Chris Stein of Blondie backstage in 1999.

Photo: Patrick Ford/Redferns/GettyImages


25 Years Later, 'No Exit' Shows Blondie Galvanizing Its Identity

Released in 1999 after a 15-year hiatus, Blondie's 'No Exit' was more than a reunion album. The edgy, eclectic and innovative album pulled Blondie back from the brink of history and into a new millennium.

GRAMMYs/Feb 23, 2024 - 04:22 pm

"We felt there was no exit from Blondie," Clem Burke, long-standing drummer of Blondie, said in 1999. 

Burke was speaking on the occasion of Blondie's new record, aptly titled No Exit. At the time, the band had reunited after a 15-year absence and, according to Burke, "reared its head again, a four-headed monster." 

Although Burke jested about being unable to shake the pull of the band, No Exit was an edgy, eclectic and innovative record that pulled Blondie back from the brink of history and into a new millennium. The 17-track album saw the band restart their musical mission, delivering genre-blending punk music that brought experimental sounds to the mainstream while also parodying Americana. The reckless abandon shown with No Exit — from music genres to public image — proved a direct through-line to their peak new wave output.

No Exit was certainly a long time coming. The idea of a "reunion" for the famed band was never in the cards; even the idea of a greatest hits record was a no-go.After the release of 1982’s The Hunter — an album that fared poorly with critics and achieved little impact on the charts — the group chose to disband. Co-founder Chris Stein was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease and took time away from music; lead singer Debbie Harry began caring for partner Stein while also pursuing a solo music career and acting opportunities (including John WatersHairspray); Burke went on to play drums for the likes of the Romantics and Iggy Pop; keyboardist Jimmy Destri began producing music for Prince and INXS

A true reunion had to involve new music and a relaunch too. Stein recalled watching Jerry Maguire for the first time while recording No Exit in 1998. "I got all teary-eyed because the movie’s all about getting a second chance," he told the L.A. Times. "And that’s what this is about, you know? We’re getting a second chance."

Released on Feb. 23, 1999, No Exit was an energetic and eclectic mix of classic Blondie genres — pop and rock, reggae and rap — that pitched the band to a generation. No Exit eased the band back into a musical landscape dominated by rhythmic hip-hop tracks, velvet R&B anthems and thumping heavy metal.

Audiences at the dawn of the new millennium were already enjoying the success of other girl-fronted rock ensembles; groups like No Doubt, Garbage, and the Cranberries owed Blondie and Harry some credit for trailblazing. (Even if being a female-fronted band became a thorn in Blondie’s side, as seen by their 1978 "campaign" to correct the record with "Blondie is a group!" buttons.) 

Now returning to the charts with such peers, Blondie signaled to the world their assignment was never over — even aging rockers could challenge music conventions and be punk again. Harry was center stage once more, reviving the band’s famed part-parody and part-femme fatale blond bombshell image for a new audience (and Blondie diehards). 

Lead track "Maria" — a spirited song about romantic desire that also plays on religious idol worship — wasn’t quite classic Blondie but a sweet pop treat  The song 

hit No. 1 on the U.K. charts and also topped charts in Spain and Poland. Blondie were officially back in action, but their status left Stein a bit uneasy. "Now we were on the receiving end of a lot of accolades. At times it felt odd being hit with all the ‘legendary’ labels," Stein writes in his upcoming memoir, Under a Rock.

But it was no small feat to get Blondie back together. When they disbanded in 1982, they acknowledged that it was a "madhouse," with endless fighting and arguments all while Stein began to deteriorate from his chronic illness. While the band had sold more than 40 million albums in their decade-plus together and cemented themselves in the cultural lexicon, a new question emerged: Would their formerly edgy and eclectic sound resonate again?

Part of the band’s advantage in 1999 was also their original musical hallmark: a lack of a loyalty to any singular genre. 

No Exit embraced Blondie’s classic musical eclecticism — a quality that saw some critics deride the record. An "album of hollow new-wave, ska, and rap retreads," Entertainment Weekly opined while Rolling Stone argued it "indulge[d] in the kind of dilettantish genre dabbling that preceded their 1982 demise." But Blondie’s uniqueness was always that their music output resisted easy classification; it wouldn’t be Blondie without any genre experimentation. 

While looking back was important for the band when recording No Exit, it was also key to finding ways to appeal to a new generation of listeners. "We’re part of the future as well as the past," Harry said in 1999. "One of the stipulations I had was that it not be just a revue of Blondie’s greatest hits. I really felt convinced of and dedicated to the idea that we had to move ahead and do new music." That also extended to playfully redoing tracks they had originally recorded in the 1970s, including the Sangri-Las’ "Out in the Street."

Other songs on No Exit showed a playful and wry tenor, as the four original members were seemingly having fun reconnecting with each other. "Forgive and Forget (Pull Down the Night)" is a smooth and synthy dance track that recalls the Pet Shop Boys and gestures at forgiving past transgressions. Blondie cosplays as a country ensemble on "The Dream’s Lost on Me" with a structured and rhythmic country ballad that elevates Harry’s vocals. "Screaming Skin" takes their past reggae influences  and recasts them in a rapid-fire rock song about breaking the betrayal of one’s body (likely a reference to Stein’s pemphigus condition attacking his skin).

Touring No Exit also fermented worries about Blondie’s legacy. "I don’t wanna appear preposterous on stage," Harry said at the time. In an attempt to defy such expectations, Blondie chose to perform the album’s hip-hop influenced title track during the American Music Awards, even bringing Coolio onstage.

The performance was true Blondie, which had long collaborated with artists of other genres to appeal to new audiences (their "Rapture" featuring Fab Five Freddy being case in point). "I was pleased with the mixed reaction," Stein said after the AMAs. "I’d much rather have us do something controversial than safe."

Today, "No Exit" might sound like a jarring marriage between classical music — with its use of Bach’s "Toccata and Fugue in D minor" — and thumping modern rap, but it isn’t a serious sonic exercise. Blondie instead impishly reminds us of the endless loop ("no exit") of their past music and the music industry, as their famed tunes might as well be as dated as those of the baroque era. The band goes philosophical with the reboot — even nodding to Jean-Paul Sartre’s bleak existential play No Exit — but conversely finds freedom adopting this adage. 

The 1999 regrouping netted Blondie chart success, new fandom, and a world tour. Yet it also brought up some personal problems. In Under a Rock, Stein admitted he was trying to gradually decrease his use of methadone, but touring demands made recovery difficult.

Still, Blondie’s return helped galvanize their popular image as enduring punk and new wave pioneers. (It might not be surprising that no Blondie album since has charted as high as No Exit at No. 18 in the U.S. and No. 3 in the U.K.) The band hasn’t pumped the brakes either, riding the renewed popularity for decades since with new music and tours of the world over.

But No Exit offered audiences something that their four following albums haven't achieved: a cutting and experimental sound that also acknowledged the artifice of the pop rock music they were making. Even recent successes like 2017’s Pollinator sounded fun and youthful, but were a largely series of songs written or co-written by other artists that aimed to appease current pop music tastes. 

The album title might sound suffocating or even nihilistic, but to Blondie No Exit was a belated self-acceptance. "I mean, there is no exit," Harry commented to journalist Michael Hill in 2013. "You work so hard to establish something, and then that’s it, there you are." 

Twenty-five years on, Blondie showed a dawning new millennium who they were: A punk band who embraced sounds with abandon while celebrating the fantasy of being dissent rock stars. Like reading a sign "last exit before freeway," Blondie saw No Exit as a moment to hit the gas and drive straight on through.    

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Kendrick Lamar GRAMMY Rewind Hero
Kendrick Lamar

Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic


GRAMMY Rewind: Kendrick Lamar Honors Hip-Hop's Greats While Accepting Best Rap Album GRAMMY For 'To Pimp a Butterfly' In 2016

Upon winning the GRAMMY for Best Rap Album for 'To Pimp a Butterfly,' Kendrick Lamar thanked those that helped him get to the stage, and the artists that blazed the trail for him.

GRAMMYs/Oct 13, 2023 - 06:01 pm

Updated Friday Oct. 13, 2023 to include info about Kendrick Lamar's most recent GRAMMY wins, as of the 2023 GRAMMYs.

A GRAMMY veteran these days, Kendrick Lamar has won 17 GRAMMYs and has received 47 GRAMMY nominations overall. A sizable chunk of his trophies came from the 58th annual GRAMMY Awards in 2016, when he walked away with five — including his first-ever win in the Best Rap Album category.

This installment of GRAMMY Rewind turns back the clock to 2016, revisiting Lamar's acceptance speech upon winning Best Rap Album for To Pimp A Butterfly. Though Lamar was alone on stage, he made it clear that he wouldn't be at the top of his game without the help of a broad support system. 

"First off, all glory to God, that's for sure," he said, kicking off a speech that went on to thank his parents, who he described as his "those who gave me the responsibility of knowing, of accepting the good with the bad."

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He also extended his love and gratitude to his fiancée, Whitney Alford, and shouted out his Top Dawg Entertainment labelmates. Lamar specifically praised Top Dawg's CEO, Anthony Tiffith, for finding and developing raw talent that might not otherwise get the chance to pursue their musical dreams.

"We'd never forget that: Taking these kids out of the projects, out of Compton, and putting them right here on this stage, to be the best that they can be," Lamar — a Compton native himself — continued, leading into an impassioned conclusion spotlighting some of the cornerstone rap albums that came before To Pimp a Butterfly.

"Hip-hop. Ice Cube. This is for hip-hop," he said. "This is for Snoop Dogg, Doggystyle. This is for Illmatic, this is for Nas. We will live forever. Believe that."

To Pimp a Butterfly singles "Alright" and "These Walls" earned Lamar three more GRAMMYs that night, the former winning Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song and the latter taking Best Rap/Sung Collaboration (the song features Bilal, Anna Wise and Thundercat). He also won Best Music Video for the remix of Taylor Swift's "Bad Blood." 

Lamar has since won Best Rap Album two more times, taking home the golden gramophone in 2018 for his blockbuster LP DAMN., and in 2023 for his bold fifth album, Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers.

Watch Lamar's full acceptance speech above, and check back at every Friday for more GRAMMY Rewind episodes. 

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Franc Moody
Franc Moody

Photo: Rachel Kupfer 


A Guide To Modern Funk For The Dance Floor: L'Imperatrice, Shiro Schwarz, Franc Moody, Say She She & Moniquea

James Brown changed the sound of popular music when he found the power of the one and unleashed the funk with "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag." Today, funk lives on in many forms, including these exciting bands from across the world.

GRAMMYs/Nov 25, 2022 - 04:23 pm

It's rare that a genre can be traced back to a single artist or group, but for funk, that was James Brown. The Godfather of Soul coined the phrase and style of playing known as "on the one," where the first downbeat is emphasized, instead of the typical second and fourth beats in pop, soul and other styles. As David Cheal eloquently explains, playing on the one "left space for phrases and riffs, often syncopated around the beat, creating an intricate, interlocking grid which could go on and on." You know a funky bassline when you hear it; its fat chords beg your body to get up and groove.

Brown's 1965 classic, "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag," became one of the first funk hits, and has been endlessly sampled and covered over the years, along with his other groovy tracks. Of course, many other funk acts followed in the '60s, and the genre thrived in the '70s and '80s as the disco craze came and went, and the originators of hip-hop and house music created new music from funk and disco's strong, flexible bones built for dancing.

Legendary funk bassist Bootsy Collins learned the power of the one from playing in Brown's band, and brought it to George Clinton, who created P-funk, an expansive, Afrofuturistic, psychedelic exploration of funk with his various bands and projects, including Parliament-Funkadelic. Both Collins and Clinton remain active and funkin', and have offered their timeless grooves to collabs with younger artists, including Kali Uchis, Silk Sonic, and Omar Apollo; and Kendrick Lamar, Flying Lotus, and Thundercat, respectively.

In the 1980s, electro-funk was born when artists like Afrika Bambaataa, Man Parrish, and Egyptian Lover began making futuristic beats with the Roland TR-808 drum machine — often with robotic vocals distorted through a talk box. A key distinguishing factor of electro-funk is a de-emphasis on vocals, with more phrases than choruses and verses. The sound influenced contemporaneous hip-hop, funk and electronica, along with acts around the globe, while current acts like Chromeo, DJ Stingray, and even Egyptian Lover himself keep electro-funk alive and well.

Today, funk lives in many places, with its heavy bass and syncopated grooves finding way into many nooks and crannies of music. There's nu-disco and boogie funk, nodding back to disco bands with soaring vocals and dance floor-designed instrumentation. G-funk continues to influence Los Angeles hip-hop, with innovative artists like Dam-Funk and Channel Tres bringing the funk and G-funk, into electro territory. Funk and disco-centered '70s revival is definitely having a moment, with acts like Ghost Funk Orchestra and Parcels, while its sparkly sprinklings can be heard in pop from Dua Lipa, Doja Cat, and, in full "Soul Train" character, Silk Sonic. There are also acts making dreamy, atmospheric music with a solid dose of funk, such as Khruangbin’s global sonic collage.

There are many bands that play heavily with funk, creating lush grooves designed to get you moving. Read on for a taste of five current modern funk and nu-disco artists making band-led uptempo funk built for the dance floor. Be sure to press play on the Spotify playlist above, and check out's playlist on Apple Music, Amazon Music and Pandora.

Say She She

Aptly self-described as "discodelic soul," Brooklyn-based seven-piece Say She She make dreamy, operatic funk, led by singer-songwriters Nya Gazelle Brown, Piya Malik and Sabrina Mileo Cunningham. Their '70s girl group-inspired vocal harmonies echo, sooth and enchant as they cover poignant topics with feminist flair.

While they’ve been active in the New York scene for a few years, they’ve gained wider acclaim for the irresistible music they began releasing this year, including their debut album, Prism. Their 2022 debut single "Forget Me Not" is an ode to ground-breaking New York art collective Guerilla Girls, and "Norma" is their protest anthem in response to the news that Roe vs. Wade could be (and was) overturned. The band name is a nod to funk legend Nile Rodgers, from the "Le freak, c'est chi" exclamation in Chic's legendary tune "Le Freak."


Moniquea's unique voice oozes confidence, yet invites you in to dance with her to the super funky boogie rhythms. The Pasadena, California artist was raised on funk music; her mom was in a cover band that would play classics like Aretha Franklin’s "Get It Right" and Gladys Knight’s "Love Overboard." Moniquea released her first boogie funk track at 20 and, in 2011, met local producer XL Middelton — a bonafide purveyor of funk. She's been a star artist on his MoFunk Records ever since, and they've collabed on countless tracks, channeling West Coast energy with a heavy dose of G-funk, sunny lyrics and upbeat, roller disco-ready rhythms.

Her latest release is an upbeat nod to classic West Coast funk, produced by Middleton, and follows her February 2022 groovy, collab-filled album, On Repeat.

Shiro Schwarz

Shiro Schwarz is a Mexico City-based duo, consisting of Pammela Rojas and Rafael Marfil, who helped establish a modern funk scene in the richly creative Mexican metropolis. On "Electrify" — originally released in 2016 on Fat Beats Records and reissued in 2021 by MoFunk — Shiro Schwarz's vocals playfully contrast each other, floating over an insistent, upbeat bassline and an '80s throwback electro-funk rhythm with synth flourishes.

Their music manages to be both nostalgic and futuristic — and impossible to sit still to. 2021 single "Be Kind" is sweet, mellow and groovy, perfect chic lounge funk. Shiro Schwarz’s latest track, the joyfully nostalgic "Hey DJ," is a collab with funkstress Saucy Lady and U-Key.


L'Impératrice (the empress in French) are a six-piece Parisian group serving an infectiously joyful blend of French pop, nu-disco, funk and psychedelia. Flore Benguigui's vocals are light and dreamy, yet commanding of your attention, while lyrics have a feminist touch.

During their energetic live sets, L'Impératrice members Charles de Boisseguin and Hagni Gwon (keys), David Gaugué (bass), Achille Trocellier (guitar), and Tom Daveau (drums) deliver extended instrumental jam sessions to expand and connect their music. Gaugué emphasizes the thick funky bass, and Benguigui jumps around the stage while sounding like an angel. L’Impératrice’s latest album, 2021’s Tako Tsubo, is a sunny, playful French disco journey.

Franc Moody

Franc Moody's bio fittingly describes their music as "a soul funk and cosmic disco sound." The London outfit was birthed by friends Ned Franc and Jon Moody in the early 2010s, when they were living together and throwing parties in North London's warehouse scene. In 2017, the group grew to six members, including singer and multi-instrumentalist Amber-Simone.

Their music feels at home with other electro-pop bands like fellow Londoners Jungle and Aussie act Parcels. While much of it is upbeat and euphoric, Franc Moody also dips into the more chilled, dreamy realm, such as the vibey, sultry title track from their recently released Into the Ether.

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